WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) is calling on his colleagues to join him in prohibiting federal funds from being used for a military parade – in the style of Russia, North Korea and China – for which President Trump has asked. Last year, Senator Cardin introduced a similar amendment to the FY 2018 budget resolution (H. Con. Res. 71) and introduced his stand-alone bill Thursday.
“First and foremost, diverting millions of dollars away from training our troops and supporting our military, especially at a time when Congress is struggling to pass annual appropriations, should be enough to kill this idea. We need every dollar possible to maintain the readiness and safety of our troops,” said Senator Cardin. “Equally important, President Trump should understand that America doesn’t have to display its military might like North Korea or others who need to puff up their importance. The world understands our strength; it is demonstrated every day around the world by the brave men and women of our military.”
The last large-scale military parade was conducted in 1991 by President George H.W. Bush after the Gulf War. It cost $12 million to showcase 80 pieces of military machinery.
President Trump has recently renewed his orders to have a military parade showcasing the United States Military Power. In past statements, he said he would like to parade our forces and military hardware down Pennsylvania Avenue as a show of force. It has been recently confirmed by the Department of Defense, that the President officially requested the DoD plan and execute a military parade and that they are actively looking at appropriate dates.
We have the best armed forces in the world. We don’t need to flex our muscles to showcase our military hardware. Our brave military men and women flex their might around the world every day on behalf of our nation. This is why I will be introducing legislation that prohibits funds to go towards a military parade requested by the President. I offered a similar amendment to the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Bill, but it was not included in the final version.
Not only will this bill prevent grand-scale parades as a “show of force,” but it would also limit the impact of national military parades will have on military readiness. Having seen multiple training deaths, as well as ship collisions in the past year. Preventing such a parade would save desperately needed operations and maintenance resources for mission related fighting two wars abroad. It also will ensure that our military personnel that volunteer to sacrifice for our nation will be able to spend their limited free time with loved ones in their communities that they live in, work in, and not in travel needlessly to our nation’s capital to appease the President.
We all honor the brave men and women of our military, but there are much more effective ways of achieving this than wasting millions of dollars we could better spend on our troops. We will be submitting the following legislation by the end of this week.